Storytelling is an effective content marketing tool
When I was in third grade, a small group of people went to my school. When they entered our classroom, this friendly-looking gentleman, who was wearing a coat and had a few streaks of grey hair, stood in front and asked:
“Who here likes marshmallows?”
Several hands went up, including mine. Then he said, “Wow! So a lot of you like marshmallows. As for me? I love them.”
That was when the teacher introduced the group to us. Apparently, they were selling small boxes of modelling clay that could be used for our art class.
After handing out small free sample boxes, the man told us a story about how much he loved marshmallows as a kid. He said that he would save a few cents that he managed to save from his allowance on schooldays. Then, on Saturday mornings, he would go to the neighborhood store to buy his favorite pack of plain marshmallows using the money that he saved.
After telling us his the rest of his story, he instructed us to open the box. He was referring to the small box of modelling clay on our desks.
So we opened it — and surprise, surprise — the clay smelled like marshmallows! I remember spending literally 5 whole minutes sniffing the clay.
Looking back, I realized how funny (and questionable) it was to sell marshmallow-scented clay doh to third-graders. But I remember back then, nearly all students in my class spent their lunch money on that clay. We were so hooked with the man’s backstory that we bought his product without batting an eyelash.
Storytelling will give your brand a soul
Customers love brands with distinct personalities. With the use of good stories, you will give your image a face, a personality, and a soul. According to Harvard Business Review, the human brain loves a good storytelling.
By learning to evoke certain feelings from your readers, you will allow them to sense empathy. In content marketing, being able to form a connection with your audience is important.
Identify your target audience
Let’s go back to the man selling marshmallow-scented clay. He knew exactly who his audience was. He knew that children our age were inclined to like sweets. That’s why he used it as a “hook” to entice us into buying his product.
By identify your audience, you will know exactly what to create. Are you selling products to teenagers? Feel free to use a bit of internet slang to attract people in the age group. Are you offering health insurance to people planning to retire? Give them facts and testimonials from people who had positive experiences with your company.
While research may not be appealing, it is necessary and extremely vital. Gathering facts and essential information will make you more trustworthy and reliable.
Familiarize yourself with the Story Structure
The image above is called the Story Structure or the Freytag Pyramid. This is a fundamental structure that most stories follow. Try to craft a story that follows the same form and find a way to connect it to the product or service that you offer.
Don’t be afraid to spruce up your story by adding imagined scenarios, but make sure that most of it are based on facts. Business websites should be factual, after all.
Content marketing should be more than ads and promotional posts. Provide high-quality content to your audience and you will see a significant boost in customer engagement levels.
Do you also use storytelling in your content marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments.